Thursday, March 06, 2008

Round up the usual suspects

We've mentioned several times the ongoing financial problems and FEC Investigation of the Republican Party of Minnesota and how they seem to be going from bad to worse due to things appearing to be a bit intertwined with the problems of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Well, now they're going from bad to worse to even more awful. Today we see a New York Times story about the scandal:
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are missing and presumed stolen from the chief fund-raising arm of House Republicans, according to party officials who described the findings of emergency internal audits.

The financial records of the group, the National Republican Congressional Committee, may also have been falsified for several years, Republican officials said. The campaign committees of several Republican lawmakers may also have been victims of a scam that is now under criminal investigation by the F.B.I.

The audits were ordered after the abrupt departure several weeks ago of Christopher J. Ward, who had been treasurer of the committee. Lawmakers said that Mr. Ward, who served a similar role for dozens of individual members of Congress and their political committees, is the focus of the F.B.I.’s criminal investigation.

The committee has acknowledged publicly that it was aware of “irregularities in our financial audit process” and that it had called in the F.B.I. in February because “these irregularities may include fraud.”

But until now the committee has not acknowledged that any money was missing from its bank accounts or that the financial irregularities might extend beyond the national committee to the campaign funds of individual Republican lawmakers who also worked with Mr. Ward, a longtime party operative.

And who might these "individual Republican lawmakers" be? It seems that Michele Bachmann still has Mr. Ward - who is looking more and more guilty every passing day - listed in the latest report as treasurer of Bachmann's MN-06 Victory Committee.

But not to worry, Senator Norm Coleman's committee, which had him listed as Treasurer in a report filed on January 27, dropped the man like a hot potato on February 12, soon after the story broke.

And let's not forget that Minnesota's own Rep. John Kline chairs the NRCC’s management team.

No comments: